Robi sees 3.7pc revenue growth

Bangladesh’s second largest mobile phone operator, Robi registered revenue growth by 3.7 percent in the first quarter (Q1), 2019 compared to the last quarter reaching Taka 1,829 crore.

Besides, the growth was 12.3 percent higher compared to the same quarter of the last year, according to the quarterly business update of Robi revealed today through a media statement, agency reports.

“We are happy to see the company edging above the break-even point following the tough financial situations caused by the merger and intense market competition,” said Robi’s Managing Director and CEO Mahtab Uddin Ahmed.

Compared to the previous quarter, Robi’s voice revenue grew by 0.6 percent while it was 5 percent in relation to the same quarter last year. On the other hand, data revenue grew by 8.3 percent compared to last quarter and by 32.1 percent, compared to the same quarter of last year.

Robi’s subscriber base grew by 1 percent from the last quarter to reach 4.73 crore in Q1 of 2019, representing 29.6 percent of the subscriber market share in the industry.

Compared to the same quarter of last year, the subscriber base grew by 3.8 percent in this quarter. At end of Q1 of 2019, data users stood 2.90 crore, representing 61.3 percent of its subscriber base.

“The continuation of the overwhelming response from customers with regards to porting in to our network using the MNP facility only proves that Robi is standing out in the market as an innovative digital brand,” said Robi CEO.

However, Robi said it has registered Taka 11.5 crore profit in the Q1 of 2019 by the creation of the largest 4.5G network of the country. Due to the financial implications of implementing IFRS 16 by Robi in January 2019, the slim profit turned into a loss of Taka 24.6 crore.

The slender profit margin and EBITDA growth (Without considering IFRS 16 implications) in the first quarter was driven by higher service revenue and cost optimization initiatives undertaken by the company. Besides, the strong data and VAS revenue growth indicate that the company’s journey towards digitalization is producing concrete results.

Without considering the financial implications of implementing IFRS 16, Robi’s EBITDA stood at Taka 531 crore in Q1 of 2019 with 29.1 percent margin. In terms of EBITDA margin growth in percentage point (pp), Robi’s EBITDA grew by 1.00 pp (without IFRS 16) compared to the previous quarter and by 11.0 pp (without IFRS 16) compared to the same quarter last year. Considering IFRS 16 implications, Robi’s EBITDA stood at Taka 714.8 crore.